Dalton Rooney


These photographs are part of a survey of the landscape of Long Island that I have been working on since late 2008. I have been systematically making my way eastward from Brooklyn into Long Island, seeking out patches of semi-wilderness to explore and photograph. I say “survey,” but the photographs are not so much a record of the place as they are a record of my experience of the place, which I think is an important distinction.

I often struggle to reconcile my interests in the classical notion of picturesque beauty and the distressing truth of the contemporary landscape, and that struggle has become the foundation for this project.

I can’t say exactly what it is that draws me to a particular place—hopefully that is communicated through the photographs. Once I’ve found a location that interests me in some way, I return over the course of months and years to continue to explore and observe the small changes that occur over time. I plan to continue working on this project indefinitely.

— Dalton Rooney